Transporting you to another time and place, West Australian Opera presents Purcell’s Dido and Aeneas

WAO24 DIDO & AENEASThe devastating heartache of Purcell’s beautiful 1689 masterpiece will fill the Government House Ballroom at an exclusive evening of dinner and performance as West Australian Opera presents Dido and Aeneas this May.

Dido, the Queen of Carthage, is full of sorrow. Her confidante Belinda thinks that the source of Dido’s struggles is the Trojan prince Aeneas, for whom Dido cannot confess her feelings, believing that her love for the prince could make her a weak Queen.

Encouraged by Belinda and her courtiers, Dido acknowledges her emotions, and upon Aeneas’ marriage proposal at court, she accepts.

A Sorceress and her witches conspire the downfall of Dido and Carthage. In order to break Dido’s heart, they send an elf, disguised as Mercury, to remind Aeneas of his duty to depart. As the spell is prepared, the Sorceress and her enchantresses summon a storm.

During the storm, Aeneas is stopped by the elf disguised as Mercury, warning him that he must leave Carthage to create a new Troy on Latin soil. Believing the request comes from a God, Aeneas accepts to depart and to reluctantly break Dido’s heart.

Aeneas’ crew prepares their departure at the quayside, singing a song. Meanwhile, the Sorceress observes the fulfilment of her plan, already plotting the destruction of Aeneas “on the ocean.”

At the palace, Dido and Belinda are shocked at Aeneas’ imminent departure. When he arrives to tell Dido, she is full of tears and prompts her lover to reconsider his course. However, even when Aeneas declares he will defy the Gods and not leave Carthage, Dido rejects him for even contemplating leaving her.

As she forces him to leave, she proclaims “Death must come when he is gone.” Dido sings a lament “When I am laid in Earth,” ordering the “cupids to scatter roses on her tomb, soft and gentle as her heart.”

Conducted by Chris van Tuinen (La bohème) and directed by Humphrey Bower (The Duel), Purcell’s opera stars Ashlyn Tymms (Carmen) and Lachlann Lawton (La bohème) as Dido and Aeneas, and features members of the UWA Chamber Orchestra and the Conservatorium’s Voice students.

Purcell’s moving opera is filled with joy and sorrow set to pierce your heart and will transport you to another time and place.

Director: Humphrey Bower | Conductor: Christopher van Tuinen (9 – 11 May), Bayden Adams (12 May) | Featuring: Ashlyn Tymms, Lachlann Lawton, Jessica Blunt, Ruth Burke, Belinda Butler, Ciaran McChord, UWA Con-Cantorum, UWA Chamber Orchestra | Movement Coach: Margrete Helgeby Chaney | Lighting Designer: Mick Rippon | Repetiteur: Lydia Lai

Dido and Aeneas
Government House Ballroom, 13 St. Georges Terrace, Perth
Season: 9 – 12 May 2024
Information and Bookings:

Image: West Australian Opera presents Dido and Aeneas (supplied)